Saints slam six past Shaw­lands

The Oban Times - - Sport -

WHILE Joseph’s FP were se­cur­ing the points nec­es­sary to se­cure the Scottish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League Pre­mier Divi­sion ti­tle with a 3-1 win over Camp­bel­town Pupils in Dun­tocher, Oban Saints did their best to keep the pressure on the cham­pi­ons- elect with an em­phatic 6 - 1 win over the league’s other former pupils, Shaw­lands, at Lochinch.

With sev­eral play­ers miss­ing from the pre­vi­ous Satur­day’s Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy quar­ter-fi­nal squad Saints man­ager Alex Craik named an un­fa­mil­iar start­ing line-up giv­ing a first start­ing role to Kerr New­big­ging and hand­ing the cap­tain’s arm band to Ross Mait­land.

Saints made a light­ning quick start catch­ing Shaw­lands cold to open the scor­ing in­side the first minute. A long ball from Wil­lie Gem­mell was beau­ti­fully taken down by Craig MacEwan and played di­ag­o­nally across to Ross Mait­land cutting in from the right who tucked it away low past keeper Scott McSharry’s right hand.

With their tails up Saints pushed for­ward look­ing for a sec­ond. Kerr New­big­ging fed the over­lap­ping Matthew Kelly on the right who was hauled down by Ley­ton Slack. Ross Mait­land’s free-kick was pulled down at the back post by Kerr New­big­ging and played back across goal look­ing for Paul Carmichael but Paul McGowan made an im­por­tant in­ter­cep­tion and cleared the dan­ger.

Matthew Kelly burst for­ward again in the sev­enth minute link­ing up on the right with Ross Mait­land who was frac­tion­ally too heavy with his ball threaded into the box al­low­ing Scott McSharry to come out and gather ahead of the Saints full back.

Shaw­lands weath­ered the early Saints storm and drew level from the cor­ner flag in the 17th minute. Kevin Ste­wart’s long ball up the edge of the Saints box look­ing for Ross McDougall was headed behind by Wil­lie Gem­mell. Gavin Mc­Cracken’s cor­ner kick from the right was met per­fectly by Ross McDougall, who made a good run across Myles McAuley on the six-yard line to head high into the net giv­ing Thomas McCul­loch no chance.

Saints re­gained the lead five min­utes later from the penalty spot af­ter David McKay slid in from behind on Paul Carmichael. Wil­lie Gem­mell’s ball from the back sent Paul rac­ing through the in­side left chan­nel pur­sued by David McKay. Paul Carmichael burst into the box with David McKay go­ing through the back of him to get to the ball, leav­ing ref­eree Pat O’Don­nell any easy de­ci­sion to point to the spot and put David McKay’s name in his note­book.

Craig MacEwan suc­cess­fully con­verted the penalty kick send­ing Scott McSharry in the wrong di­rec­tion.

The keeper fared bet­ter in the 23rd minute saving well at his near post af­ter a driv­ing run into the box from Scott Mait­land.

An­other run into the box from Brian Mackay on the end of a move in­volv­ing Myles McAuley and Kerr New­big­ging had the Shaw­lands keeper at full stretch. How­ever Brian Mackay’s left foot shot across the keeper was a yard wide of his left hand post.

Two long Myles McAuley throw-ins from the left look­ing for the head of Paul Carmichael were com­fort­ably dealt with by the Shaw­lands de­fence and a swift counter at­tack on the left saw Matthew Kelly pe­nalised for pulling back Gavin Mc­Cracken. He, how­ever, couldn’t repli­cate his ex­cel­lent de­liv­ery for his side’s goal send­ing his free-kick into the Saints wall.

Wil­lie Gem­mell’s ac­cu­rate long range pass­ing from the back opened up the Shaw­lands de­fence again in the 40th minute send­ing Paul Carmichael spin­ning in behind Keiran McKay on the Saints left. Paul Carmichael hit the bye-line and sent a good cut back look­ing for Ross Mait­land which was well in­ter­cepted by Jonathan Stephens.

Wil­lie Gem­mell’s 44th minute ball look­ing for the head of Carmichael was well won by David McKay launch­ing a Shaw­lands counter at­tack which Brian Mackay even­tu­ally halted at the ex­pense of a cor­ner kick. Gavin Mc­Cracken’s de­liv­ery from the left was eas­ily cut out at the front post by Kerr New­big­ging be­fore ref­eree O’Don­nell blew the half-time whis­tle.

Saints kicked off the sec­ond half play­ing up the slight slope and made the same blis­ter­ing start as they had in the first half. Kerr New­big­ging played the ball up the right for Ross Mait­land, who won a throw-in off Ley­ton Slack. Ross Mait­land found Craig MacEwan with his throw who make a driv­ing run into the box and from 12 yards slammed an em­phatic left-foot fin­ish into the top cor­ner past Scott McSharry’s right hand.

Kerr New­big­ging played an­other good ball up the right wing in the 48th minute where Matthew Kelly won a cor­ner kick off Jonathan Stephens.

Ross Mait­land’s ball into the six-yard box was punched away by Scott McSharry but only as far as Kerr New­big­ging who had his shot blocked five yards from goal by Paul McGowan.

The hosts had their first sec­ond-half foray up field in the 50th minute win­ning a free-kick on the edge of the cen­tre cir­cle.

The lofted ball from Jonathan Stephens look­ing for the head of Ross McDougall was well won by Matthew Kelly get­ting in front of the Shaw­lands Skip­per to clear the dan­ger.

Saints’ fourth goal came cour­tesy of an un­for­tu­nate 51-minute mix up in the home de­fence with Ross Mait­land pounc­ing on a mis­placed pass from Scott McSharry. Ross Mait­land in­ter­cepted the pass in­tended for David McKay and rounded the stranded keeper be­fore rolling the ball into the empty net.

Myles McAuley popped up in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory wide on Saints’ right in the 55th minute and de­liv­ered a deep back post cross which Craig MacEwan headed back across goal to Paul Carmichael who steered a left­foot ef­fort wide of tar­get un­der pressure from David McKay.

Kerr New­big­ging con­tin­ued to pick the passes from mid­field and sent an­other good ball up the right wing for Paul Carmichael, who beat Jonathan Stephens to get his cross away and won a cor­ner kick when Keiran McKay headed behind. Scott McSharry came through a ruck of play­ers to punch clear but once again couldn’t get any dis­tance on his punch which re­turned by an over­head kick from David McArthur. His ef­fort looped high into the air with Scott McSharry re­cov­er­ing to clutch the ball un­der pressure from Paul Carmichael.

Saints made it 5-1 with 30 min­utes still to play. Myles McAuley made a pow­er­ful run through the mid­field be­fore lay­ing off to Brian Mackay who was up­ended 22 yards from goal by David McKay. Wil­lie Gem­mell lifted his free-kick, from slightly right of cen­tre, ex­pertly over the four-man Shaw­lands wall and over the flail­ing arms of Scott McSharry and just un­der the cross­bar.

Both sides made changes be­fore the re-start. Martin Bonar re­placed Scott Mait­land at left back for Saints and Shaw­lands with­drew Gary Ir­win and Kevin Ste­wart in favour of Scott Mad- den and Gary Dou­glas.

Saints threat­ened to break through once more with David McArthur slightly too heavy with a long ball to send Craig MacEwan in behind and David McKay mak­ing a vi­tal in­ter­cep­tion to deny Paul Carmichael af­ter a surg­ing run and lay- off from Brian Mackay.

With 15 min­utes re­main­ing Saints man­ager Alex Craik made his fi­nal change bring­ing a good shift on his start­ing de­but from Kerr New­big­ging to an end re­plac­ing him with Fraser MacFar­lane. Paul Carmichael dropped back into mid­field al­low­ing Fraser MacFar­lane to join Ross Mait­land and Craig MacEwan up front.

He was al­most in on goal within a minute of join­ing the ac­tion but Craig MacEwan and Brian Mackay over elab­o­rated in the build up al­low­ing Jonathan Stephens to stab out a toe and di­vert the ball away from Fraser MacFar­lane.

De­spite be­ing out­played for long pe­ri­ods Shaw­lands never gave up but were un­able to get the bet­ter of a firmly-in- con­trol Saints back four. Mark Watt’s deep cross from the right in the 76th minute found Ross McDougall at the back post but the well-po­si­tioned Mr O’Don­nell, who had an ex­cel­lent game, cor­rectly ruled that the Shaw­lands skip­per had strayed off­side. Mark Watt then sent a spec­u­la­tive ef­fort from 28 yards high over Thomas McCul­loch’s cross­bar. Martin Bonar push­ing for­ward on the left won an 81st-minute cor­ner kick with David McKay head- ing Ross Mait­land’s in-swinger clear at the near post. Brian Mackay was first to the loose ball and tee’d it up per­fectly for Matthew Kelly 25 yards out. He rat­tled the Shaw­lands cross­bar with a sweetly struck shot which left Scott McSharry firmly rooted to the spot.

Saints rounded off the scor­ing with seven min­utes re­main­ing when skip­per Ross Mait­land threaded a ball through for Brian Mackay, who out­paced Ley­ton Slack and slot­ted the ball right-footed past the ad­vanc­ing Scott McSharry for Saints’ sixth goal of the af­ter­noon.

There was still time for Scott McSharry in the Shaw­lands goal to pro­duce the save of the match to deny Ross Mait­land a hat-trick. David McArthur pushed for­ward to join the at­tack and set up Ross Mait­land who ar­rowed a shot to­wards the top cor­ner which Scott McSharry, at full stretch, some­how man­aged to fin­ger tip over the cross­bar.

Mr O’Don­nell brought pro­ceed­ings to an end af­ter three added min­utes be­fore the news fil­tered through from Wil­liam Street that St Joseph’s FP had beaten a de­pleted Camp­bel­town Pupils side to clinch a sec­ond Pre­mier Divi­sion ti­tle in three sea­sons. Saints still have six league fixtures be­gin­ning on Satur­day with a visit to Glen­cruit­ten of Gold­en­hill be­fore the Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy semi-fi­nal against Hilling­ton the fol­low­ing week­end.

Saints had Shaw­lands un­der pressure for long pe­ri­ods in the game but this time Ross McDougall heads the ball clear. Match re­port and pho­tos: Derek Black

Wil­lie Gem­mell lifts a su­perb free kick over the Shaw­lands’ wall to net Saints’ fi fth goal.

Saints skip­per Ross Mait­land is con­grat­u­lated by his team­mates af­ter open­ing the scor­ing against Shaw­lands in the first minute.

Saints’ new sign­ing Kerr New­big­ging and Shaw­lands’ Paul McGowan in ac­tion. This was Kerr’s first start of the sea­son and he must have im­pressed the man­ager with an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance in mid­field.

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